Book Review: Good Boy, Achilles

41BsLQT-eTLGenre: Christian, Children’s Literature

Disclosure: I am a friend of the author, and this book was sent to me free of charge to review.

There are good books, and there are books full of goodness. Good Boy, Achilles has the unusual distinction of being both. The premise of the book is that the special relationship between humans and domestic canines is a divine Gift to help us navigate the joys, troubles and distresses of life.  Each dog is specially made, to love, protect and guide its special human. The dogs understand their role, even when the humans do not.

The plot centers around a young boy, Jeremy, who lives on a family farm with his parents. The farm dog, Ginger, has a litter of puppies, one of whom forms a special bond with Jeremy. Conflict arises when Jeremy is not able to keep “his” puppy because his father is worried about the added expense veterinary care and feeding such a large dog would add to the family budget.

The author does an excellent job of showing and not telling the inner emotions of Jeremy—a visual painting of a shuffled walk, a slammed door, a tearful run through a corn field. This reader was reminded of her own childhood—of times when she was wondering at dinner when she was going to get into trouble for something that had happened earlier in the day. The writing about Jeremy effectively lets the reader really get to know and understand Jeremy.

The dogs are precious and lovable, and one can’t help but want to give Achilles a hero’s welcome by the end of the book. I would have liked to have seen more of the same kind of writing that we saw for Jeremy’s character used for the dog’s growth and learning of his role as well.

It is a lovely book. Children of reading age who have a special pet will enjoy it, but it’s a good book for parents to read to a younger child as well. And, I know many adults who will enjoy this book also.

Barbie and Critical Reading Skills

bucket_eMy daughter brought home a Barbie, I can be…President book from the library the other day. These books and I can be dolls are an attempt to deflect some of the scathing criticism that Barbie has received for being a shallow role model. In this book Barbie runs for class president, and low and behold, the President of the United States visits…a female president.

I pointed out to my daughter as we read that we have never elected a woman president of the United States, so this book is really fiction. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have a female president; it just hasn’t happened yet.

Then, a few pages later the writer of the book decided to list the duties of the President. “The President makes the laws.” My husband and I just about jumped out of our skins. Continue reading “Barbie and Critical Reading Skills”